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“A hidden jewel”

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Fundacion Pacita Batanes Nature Lodge
Ranked #1 of 15 Speciality Lodging in Basco
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 December 2011

Every December my purpose is to find a place in the Philippines that is away from the tourist traps, isolated and QUIET. Batanes and Fundacion Pacita met all my requirements. Upon my arrival I was greeted very cordially by the staff. As I had arrived in the morning, I was escorted straight to the dining area and served a sumptuous breakfast of a choice of breads, jams and preserves with fresh fruit. I asked for hot chocolate and was pleasantly surprised that they had it available. My breakfast table became MY table for the 3 days I spent there. It had a glorious view of the ocean. My room led off from the dining room (Terrace room). The bed was super comfortable. Huge wall windows provided me with stunning views of the ocean on one side and the hills on the other side. The private terrace had the perfect patio furniture for lounging outside in the fresh air. I often took a nap on the my private terrace after a day's hiking. There was also a small sitting area in the terrace room where I drank my afternoon and after-dinner coffee. The bathroom is small, but unique with shells placed on a shelf in the huge shower stall. Warm water was readily available - just what I wanted after hiking the hills and returning when the winds turned cool.
One must climb the steps down to the 'beach'. I've never experienced anything like it before - a beach of wave-smoothed stones. Best to go when it is low tide to explore. I took some of my best photos there.
I skipped lunch since I was hiking, but I had dinner at Fundacion. Since I was there on Christmas Day 2010, I was surprised, and quite happy, at how low-key it was. No festivities and not really a special menu for the dinner. The meals varied. After my first breakfast, the following breakfast meals were disappointing as the fresh breads were replaced by slices of typical 'store bought' bread. I enjoyed the meals I had for dinner in the evenings. Although limited, the chef made a real attempt at creating something to delight the palate.
The lounge area has a large TV and a selection of DVDs. I did not use this as I had my Kindle and was happy to read on the terrace or in my room in the evenings. I couldn't get cellphone coverage (Globe) at Fundacion Pacita, but as soon as I wandered about 100m away I got full bars.
The artwork on display is beautiful and one must visit their gallery of local art and the beautiful garden. It's a feast for the eye.
Fundacion Pacita is quite pricey, but absolutely worth every peso. I'm sure that it is a perfect place for honeymooners who just want time to themselves.

Room Tip: Definitely get one of the terrace rooms that lead off the dining area.
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  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled solo
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3  Thank MellowPet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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149 - 155 of 162 reviews

Reviewed 28 September 2011

Let me start by saying that I consider this as one of my best stay, by far, among all the hotels that we've stayed in and we've been traveling all year round. First, the view..imagine a 180 degrees of natural landscape and ocean as your view from your windows. Probably, I will not give justice to our room's view just by describing it. What we love more about our room is our private balcony where we can see everything, from the trees, the rolling hills and the Pacific. The hotel staff gave us a very nice welcome by delivering our breakfast and freshly brewed coffee in our balcony. Next, the hotel itself has character to boast of. The former owner was an artist and all her paintings and work of art are displayed in the hotel for the guests to appreciate. All artworks are conversation pieces altogether. Also, the hotel landscape was made in such a way that it would blend with nature. What you see in the pictures of the hotel through the internet is just underrated. Trust me, it's better when you're actually there. Our room was nicely decorated, has strong aircon and hot water which is a scarcity in batanes. There's no ref inside the room but you can always ask from the staff anything that you need. Also, there's no TV inside the room, but who needs to watch TV in this place? It's about 15 minutes from the town center but there is a private shuttle that can take you anytime to the town, it was a pretty good excuse for us to enjoy the view during the road trip. Trust me, it's an adventure as well. Only downside, I guess, is the wifi. But I brought my own portable wifi connector so it was not a problem for us. Food is great although they don't have a menu and would just depend on the chef's menu for the day. The hotel rate may be a little higher than usual but I would readily pay for it for this view and wonderful experience in this hotel.

Room Tip: get the rooms with ocean view deck
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  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank attyjing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2011

A friend and I spent Holy Week in Batanes and stayed 2 nights here. Aside from Batanes's natural beauty, Fundacion made it special.

We got the terrace suite. When I booked it I was kinda thinking that the price is pretty steep, but when I got there - I was like OKAY I get it. The room was big with a queen size bed. It has a writing desk and some reading chairs. The interiors is really nice and look better than the advertisement pictures. But the most amazing thing about the room is the views of the ocean - breathtaking. Another plus is that the room has a view deck with lounge chairs where you could enjoy the view and take in the whipping winds of Batanes. The bathroom has hot water - which was a welcome relief from the chilly rain and winds.The hotel lobby and gardens were also nice features. You can just chill on their deck chairs at the garden and watch the waves crash on the rocks. It's really a beautiful place. They can also arrange tours for you, and we had a good tour guide - Homer.

I was hoping for Wi-fi connection in the room, but they don't have it. You have to go to their office. (Maybe they can improve on this - with the hotel price, I think it's just prudent to give guests free wifi). Breakfast was okay - we like the camote muffins so much we requested a box of it when we left for Manila.

If you have the cash and you're going to Basco, Batanes, stay here (even for a night!) It's worth it.

Room Tip: Book online and book ahead. Book any room - they're all tastefully decorated and well-appointed.
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  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank RachelMD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2011

Albeit the most expensive accommodation in Batanes, the rooms, the breathtaking view and the service of the staff are definitely worth the splurge.

We will definitely come back to this piece of heaven.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank a3_explore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 June 2011

Fundacion Pacita is the swankiest place to stay in Batanes and must be experienced at least two nights as a sweet reward to the end of a roughing-it trip. It is also a good base for exploring the Batan Island, the main island of Batanes. It's about 10-15 minutes by hotel van from the airport/Basco (the capital town) and offers the breathtaking views of the rolling countryside of Batan. At Fundacion, you basically have a bird's eye view of Northern Batan, including Mt Irayat, the "Marlboro" pasture land, and the Pacific Ocean. Trust me, the steep price is worth it!

The one downside is that the location is pretty remote and there are no TVs in the rooms (there's a flat screen tv in the common dining/mess hall but the dvd player was apparently not working at that time of our visit), so you'll have to content yourself with a good book for your nightly entertainment. There is not much nightlife in Basco either so you won't be missing out. To get to Basco, you simply arrange for the van to take you town and text the driver when you'd like to be picked up.

Although the property itself is probably one of the best luxury retreats in the Philippines, the service is not yet quite at par. First, we booked our entire stay with their Manila booking office but apparently, the Fundacion people were not informed or they could not access the internet or something so there was nobody was at the airport to pick us up. It was a minor inconvenience for in 15mins, somebody came. Second, the whole time we were there, they kept on asking us whether we were going to have lunch or dinner there, even calling the room during siesta time! It became short of a nuisance and it seems like you can't decide last minute if you could have a meal there or not. There were no fixed menus and the dishes seemed to depend on the whim of the chef. If you do have a meal there, the time you set with them is meaningless. They're always 15-30 minutes late. On our last day, we arranged dinner with them for 7pm but food came close to 745pm. Mind you, they called our room at 3pm to get our orders.

Third, we arrived on the run-up to Batanes Day (June 26). When we asked the Front Office people about which day tours we could take, they gave us a run-around and their inhouse guide (Ryan) was apparently on "Batanes Day" mode and was not really helpful. The free half-day tour was truncated to two hours, ending up in the town plaza where the sportsfest was on going. I asked him where we could try Ivatan food for lunch and he was rather unwilling to take us to a proper restaurant, making us have lunch at a hawker near the plaza. There was only one Ivatan dish in their fare (Ivatan laing), the rest was fried chicken and sweet and sour fish. The only explanation why this was the case was that the guide was more concerned about watching the inter-town games at the plaza than giving us a proper tour. Indeed, the following day, we bumped into him again at the plaza, feigning not to know us.

My advice: stay at Fundacion but pre-arrange your day tours with other more established tour operators like Batanes Cultural Travel Agency or Hiro's Cafe Travel and Tours. Due to a chance lunch at Hiro's, we had a fantastic Batan tour with guide Lando who was more sincere in showing us his beloved homeland. It really makes a huge difference.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with friends
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10  Thank Jeff A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2011

It is very expensive to live here, and we paid $300 a night for the biggest room in the hotel (luxury terrace room). It has two adjoining bedrooms with a very spacious terrace. Food is expensive and mediocre and you can't find any staff around after 8-9pm (i think they're all asleep already), so no room service whatsoever. But the architecture/design and view from the balcony are magnificent beyond words. The bathrooms are really well designed and spacious, with large closets and organic bath products. Seventy percent of the proceeds of the hotel goes to charity, so it's really ok even if the service is spotty. The staff is very courteous and helpful anyway, when they're awake. Tours arranged by the hotel is very expensive, so make sure to email/call a local tour guide before heading to Batanes. Tours in the hotel costs about $30-35 per person per day whereas with a local guide it's about $100-120 for 2 days inclusive of everything (without meals).

Room Tip: Get the terrace rooms or the honeymoon suite!
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  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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5  Thank phoenixmemphis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2011

Hands down one of the best B&B that I've stayed in so far. From the traditional Ivatan (Northern Philippine) architecture to the balconies that open into a magnificent views of hills, cliffs and the wide Pacific Ocean, to the very personalised attention and hospitality of the owners and the staff. This is truly one of the crowning jewels of Northern Philippines.

The food was okay, but heck everything is just wow. I had a 20 peso change from my bill, and they had to drive all the airport to give me my change! Now if only I have the money, I'd buy this property to myself. Ha!

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank riain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Fundacion Pacita Batanes Nature Lodge

Address: Brgy. Chanarian-Tukon, Basco, Luzon, Philippines
Region: Philippines > Luzon > Cagayan Valley Region > Province of Batanes > Basco
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 15 Speciality Lodging in Basco
Number of rooms: 20
Also Known As:
Fundacion Pacita Batanes Nature Hotel Basco
Fundacion Pacita Batanes Nature Lodge Philippines

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